American Idol Week 2 Auditions Season 8 (2009)

Find my latest American Idol article here.

As I watched this week’s American Idol tryouts, I was struck by the fact that they have become tired.  This, of course, is not good for the show, and may be the first chink in its up till now platinum armor.

The theme this year is definitely ‘style over substance.’  The producers have shown us three things so far, idiots, people with nice personalities and people with good back stories.  I have not been overly impressed the the singing ability of one person that they have shown so far (there have been three or four decent ones though).  I hold out hope that the really good singers just do not have the back-story or personality that the producers of the show are looking for this point.

I am going to take a preemptive shot at Idol here.  I have always disliked the group performance once the contestants make it to Hollywood.  There are always a few people who simply refuse to work with other people or do not have the talent to do so.  It just is not fair to send some good singers home because they are forced into a group containing someone who has a bad attitude.  Mark my words, that full-of-herself little girl from Puerto Rico with the irritating laugh will not be able to function in a group.

Speaking of her, that brings me to another point that is getting under my skin.  Last night the irritating little Puerto Rican made a statement that is being said on a regular basis by those who are trying out for the show, and some others who are dismissed from the show.  She said when asked why she was there, “I deserve to be the next American Idol.”   Look, I do not have a problem with a person having a positive attitude.  If she had just said, “I am going to be the next American Idol,” it would have been great, but hearing these kids many of whom are not even out of high school imply that they deserve to become the Idol is just wrong.  As the great Clint Eastwood once said, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”  All these kids deserve is a high school diploma if they have earned it, and a swift kick in their asses to encourage them to get out of the house and become a productive member of society.

Finally, to Kara, shut the hell up and let Simon finish what he is saying.  Your bitchy little attitude that expects him to let you ramble on like Paula while at the same time expecting to be able to cut him off dissmissively whenever he comes close to criticizing someone you like (even if he’s trying to be constructive about it), is not going to fly.

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Idol is not to Blame

Find my latest American Idol article here.

Is it pressure or unrealistic expectations?

This week a former contestant on American Idol killed herself outside Paula Abdul’s apartment, and now, of course, many people are looking to blame the show for her death.

It is sad that this young lady with all of her apparent mental problems chose to end her life, but I do not feel that it can be blamed on American Idol.

The truth of the matter is that kids these days are being given a false sense of reality and expectations.  Just this week, Fox News published a story which blamed parents and schools for attempting to raise students’ self-esteem and expectations for their futures to unrealistic levels.

This is because children are praised without having to perform.  Children will always perform up to the expectations of adults.  When they are given no expectations in order to receive praise and rewards, then they will expect the world to be given to them for nothing.  They are often built-up without any foundation of personal accountability for 18 years, and then released on world that will savage them with its expectations.  Or, even worse they marry early and destroy the lives of their spouse and children with their expectation that everything will just be given to them without them having to put forth any effort.

American Idol and the other reality programs that focus on young people simply present us each season with the ugly truth of this situation.  Each season we see young person after young person talking about how they are not given a fair chance and how the ‘deserve’ to go on.  As Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, “Deserve has got nothing to do with it.”  No one ‘deserves’ to make it on American Idol or in any business.  They prove themselves through determination, hard work and talent.  The problem is that this generation, like most, does not want to put in the work that it takes to achieve, and they have been taught that they are the stars of their own movie.  Living a life where you go to work every day and earn an honest wage in order to support the family that you love is something that they cannot comprehend, and if they could, they would probably think it was boring and despise it.